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Elk and pop up blinds...
Elk
Contributors to this thread:
coelker 17-Aug-19
Paul@thefort 17-Aug-19
Treeline 17-Aug-19
Jaquomo 17-Aug-19
Treeline 17-Aug-19
midwest 17-Aug-19
Trophyhill 17-Aug-19
Buglmin 17-Aug-19
Rickm 17-Aug-19
Paul@thefort 17-Aug-19
deerslayer 17-Aug-19
ElkNut1 17-Aug-19
coelker 17-Aug-19
kscowboy 18-Aug-19
Treeline 18-Aug-19
ElkNut1 18-Aug-19
Jaquomo 18-Aug-19
Jaquomo 18-Aug-19
sdkhunter 18-Aug-19
LKH 18-Aug-19
coelker 18-Aug-19
ElkNut1 18-Aug-19
coelker 18-Aug-19
Treeline 18-Aug-19
Jaquomo 18-Aug-19
ElkNut1 18-Aug-19
KsRancher 18-Aug-19
Jaquomo 18-Aug-19
ElkNut1 18-Aug-19
Wild Bill 26-Apr-24
goelk 28-Apr-24
Swede 28-Apr-24
BIGHORN 28-Apr-24
txhunter58 30-Apr-24
Wirehair 30-Apr-24
Zim 01-May-24
Wild Bill 10-May-24
Rock 10-May-24
Rock 10-May-24
Who Cares 10-May-24
Groundhunter 10-May-24
Rock 11-May-24
From: coelker
17-Aug-19
So I am just a few days away from my once in a lifetime elk hunt. I have a great 7x7 bull hitting a certain water source. As well as a few other 6x6 bulls on certain waters. The one bull is in wide open sage that is not knee high. He is going to a specific tank. In a little valley. At the first of the season I am hoping to catch him at this tank.

So I am thinking about using a pop up blind. I have only used a blind like 2 times for lope.

Will a pop up blind work on an elk in the wide open?

Do I need to brush it in? Should I set it up days ahead and hope no one messes with it?

Will it’s smell scare away the elk? Do I need to spray it with scent away? Set it up in my yard (I live in a nice clean area) and let it air out?

Any other pointers? Or is there a how to thread?

Thanks a bunch!!!

From: Paul@thefort
17-Aug-19
do all of the above and then keep your fingers crossed. If your effective range is farther than 20-30, set the blind at your max effective range which might be 30-40.

From: Treeline
17-Aug-19
Yes.

No, but it can help.

Depends. Doubt you will have any issues there.

No.

No.

No.

Yes.

Maybe.

Don’t overthink it. Your best bet may be to set up that pop up the morning you first hunt and go sit it! Those bulls will move pretty soon after the start of the season to look for girls.

Good luck man!

Kill a big one!!!!

From: Jaquomo
17-Aug-19
I tried one against the willlows once in an open area waterhole. Those old cows spotted it right off and were really wary, never came close to it.

David Neils tried one last year at a timber waterhole where he was camming a big bull. He sealed all the openings except a shooting window and lived in it for like 3 days eating Clif Bars and never leaving. If I recall, his scent still seeped out and spooked elk.

But its worth a try.

From: Treeline
17-Aug-19
I do know that if you can dig down, you can really help hold in your scent. The deeper the better.

From: midwest
17-Aug-19
Maybe try digging a pit blind?

From: Trophyhill
17-Aug-19
You know where he's watering. Do you know where he's coming from or going too? Perhaps an ambush too or from the water?

From: Buglmin
17-Aug-19
Anything new and sudden will spook the elk. Others disagreed with me on another post, but we've seen how elk react to pop ups in NM. Brushed in, they spotted then quickly. We stopped using pop ups around water holes, started popping tree stands in on trails the elk were using coming into or leaving the water.

Sometimes, it's just not possible, and trying it might push the bull away. And with the rut coming on, the bull might not even stay on the area. He might soon start wandering looking for cows and be in an area miles away in a day.

From: Rickm
17-Aug-19
I prefer a natural blind or treestanf for elk. A decoy or new blind at a wallow or water source will spook them, especially the cows.

Was just thinking about the last hunt we had with Danny and Ron. Hung a stand mid day over water and Ron killed a stud that evening.

Wind can also suck at a lot of the wallows.

From: Paul@thefort
17-Aug-19
on second thought with the help of the above responses, take a shovel, a pickax and a brush saw. Dig a hole that you can kneel in or better yet, sit on the side. Pile up some sage brush around your ground blind but not too much higher than the existing vegetation. Develop it cross or down wind and slip in.

From: deerslayer
17-Aug-19
Man.... with a bull that great, I don't think I'd risk the ground blind. I think the above advice with a natural brush blind has much less risk in terms of spooking the elk. I hate hunting out of grind blinds, but I do so frequently because of their effectiveness. In this case I would opt for au naturel. One other option you may want to consider is the Redneck hay bale blind. It's a little spendy and heavy, but it all comes down to what you want to put into it. I went with the burlap model this year and have a feeling there's a good whitetail buck that's going to get zapped by it. Good luck man, either way. Post up if you get him!

From: ElkNut1
17-Aug-19
I agree with the others, a visual ground blind is risky! With the flat ground there you will be asking for a lot not to have the wind swirl even for a 2nd & give you away even before he arrives, not worth the risk for me! If you blow him out of there without killing him he most likely will not return.

I'd do my best to find the trail he is coming in on or leaving on. Look for an area he's traveling where there's some slope & the wind will be predictable for a longer span. No need to be at the waterhole to kill him just his travel route!

If that fails get him in the cover & call him in once he hits his bedding area, that would be my choice if an ambush isn't going to work! There's a good chance a bull like that is a bit defensive over sharing his bedding grounds! A few pants, a few yearning low volume groans & some raking can get him a bit annoyed by your presence, I'd work him from there according to his response. Good luck! ( good chance he could care less about any cow calling, try him but don't force it if he shows zero interest)

ElkNut/Paul

From: coelker
17-Aug-19
That is a what i have talked myself Into. So far I can not figure out a pattern with where he is coming and going From. Pictures show him 3 different directions. The wind in the valley has me scared and there is no way to put a blind in with out it being real obvious.

I was thinking a pit. I might dig one next weekend.

The other water hole has a really ought set of junipers that will Make a good all natural hole.

What about an ultimate predator stalker decoy I thought about laying on the ground flat with no blind waiting until they came into range and hoping that piping up with the decoy would Confuse long enough for a shot?

From: kscowboy
18-Aug-19
Does Ultimate Predator still have the camo shield? May dig down, brush-in a bit, and then have that strapped to your bow.

From: Treeline
18-Aug-19

Treeline's Link
This might be the trick out there.

Or in combination with a ghilly suit.

I’ve been very impressed with this stuff. Pretty impressed when using a light colored RS ghilly out in the prairie.

Gonna be a hot sit and wait!!

From: ElkNut1
18-Aug-19
Two things, pit or blind, the wind in that flat area is your worst enemy. To dig a pit & get there before daylight awaiting him in it puts him winding you at a great risk. 2nd, if your elk hunt isn't for 10 days or more there's a good chance he will vacate the area on your opener, elk stay in one area only so long.

If you can scout him now & until the opener via glassing him from a distance then you will see his comings & goings & where he may enter huntable cover! -- Before digging that pit make sure it's in a spot the wind is 100% predictable up to a certain time, leave after that time if he doesn't show!

ElkNut/Paul

From: Jaquomo
18-Aug-19
Elknut's suggestion with the pants, moans and raking is what I would do too. That's pretty much my go-to calling tactic early for mature bulls if an ambush isn't feasible. I sure wouldn't risk a pop-up blind or even a pit blind unless you only hunt it when the wind is perfect -and a bull like that will most likely circle downwind before he comes in.

From: Jaquomo
18-Aug-19
Rob, where you're hunting you will get a pretty hard thermal in the evening at sundown, but if there are thunderstorms over to the southeast it can really mess up the wind. We couldn't hunt our hot waterhole over there for three of the first five nights of the season because of big thunderheads over toward Meeker and Maybell, so we didn't chance it. On the two nights we could hunt, we killed our bulls.

Both those bulls were bedding a couple miles away from the waterhole on big PJ ridges, so we were never able to pinpoint exactly where they were to try calling to them. As you know, once they get in the PJs, they disappear. If that bull is predictable early (as he should be (and you can pass on the other 300+ bulls coming in) a natural ground blind ambush along the trail may be a better bet. Pile up some brush, maybe some camo mesh, let him walk past.

Sorry for the long-winded post, but we were faced with a similar dilemma there, and having patience waiting until everything was right paid off.

From: sdkhunter
18-Aug-19
If he is coming in solo you have a bunch better chance... use the smallest blind u can get away with, placing in the shade is better if there is a spot like that otherwise try and place in the cluster of some large bushes or whatever u can do... I wouldn’t spread scent around, I’d go in day of, brush in and keep fingers crossed... would be a good scenario for the ghost blind ( I’ve never used one but it could worst great for this)

From: LKH
18-Aug-19
Last year we killed 4 cows from one. I set it up and killed one the next day. Even after I shot and the cow ran off, others came in. If it's dry and water is limited, they can be very effective. Not much fun, but they can work.

From: coelker
18-Aug-19
So this morning I spent about 4 hours making a spot to sit. When I sit fully up my head barely over the brush.

On my knees I can shoot 4 different directions. I can draw my bow and assume relative shooing position out of sight assuming no elk are higher than me.

I have a spot but nervous.

Good news I have 11 bulls now that I would be very happy to get.

My goal is a big clean 7x7... but there are many more I have found.

From: ElkNut1
18-Aug-19
Good Luck Rob! Will you be getting there well before daylight?

ElkNut/Paul

From: coelker
18-Aug-19
It is usually my plan, but a lot will depend on what my cameras show the next 2 weeks.

I actually set up more Cameras on trails trying to figure Out where he is coming and going.

A lot will depend on wind and directions for the elk.

I figured that I would Rather have a spot to sit and not use it vs need a spot to sit and not have one...

From: Treeline
18-Aug-19
Good luck man!

From: Jaquomo
18-Aug-19
Watch your cameras this next two weeks. After the bulls shed velvet over there they started watering only from about dusk until 2-3 a.m. Your best bet may be to figure them out in the a.m. and do your sets in the P.M. Thats what we learned and it worked out.

From: ElkNut1
18-Aug-19
Good thoughts & advice! I will be very surprised if those bulls are still there using that water source in 2 weeks! I still wish you the best!

ElkNut/Paul

From: KsRancher
18-Aug-19
Whoa!! 11 bulls to choose from could get way to confusing. Let me know where it's at and I will do my best to help you out by making it only 10, that would be more manageable :)

From: Jaquomo
18-Aug-19
In that unit they tend to be very predictable until mid-September. The rut is way late in that hot high desert area in NW CO where Rob is hunting. The same bulls were hitting our same waterholes from July until we started hunting because water is so scarce. But they travel long distances from bedding to water and back, and in that thick Pinion-Juniper country they can bed anywhere they want, but you can't see where they finally settle in, usually.

It's an interesting place to hunt. We saw/glassed/cammed more than 60 different bulls from late June until we killed ours during the first week of September, but only three cows and a calf that whole time. And we saw those in early July. Most ofbthe cows on that end of the unit were in the National Monument, where hunting isn't allowed. Unlimited rifle cow tags but only a couple dozen bull tags for archery-muzzleloader-rifle will goof up the herd dynamics, and also how they respond to calling.

From: ElkNut1
18-Aug-19
Jaq, good info! As I said, I do wish him the best. Sounds like a hell of of a unit!

ElkNut/Paul

From: Wild Bill
26-Apr-24
If you are experiencing aging problems, a well placed ground blind is the way to go. A popup ground blind hidden in the existing brush or stand of trees does the trick. Actively used water holes/wallows and private land cross over fence lines work the best for location. If you set it up right, the natural vegetation around your hide will naturally brush you in without any extra effort. Pick a spot at maximum shooting range from your target. Your main problem is hunting pressure. In my experience, that's what spooks elk. Your all set up in your blind, and then it happens, another hunter blunders into your area and blows out all the game. Choose your spot wisely to avoid accidental contact with anyone!

From: goelk
28-Apr-24
well I'm wondering what happen?

From: Swede
28-Apr-24
I use tree stands a lot more than I do pop up ground blinds, so my experience is limited here. From what I have seen I would say there are two factors to consider. 1. The water hole. At some water holes at least some of the elk come in very cautiously. If something is just not right the elk may not come in. I am not sure why some elk are very cautious coming to a water hole. I suspect they have had an experience with a predator. 2. In some areas the elk cover miles of territory and visit a water hole only once in about two weeks. In that situation I would not be as concerned as I would be if the elk stayed in the area and came around routinely. If I wanted a certain 7x7 I would do as others have suggested, but I would hunt the water hole.

From: BIGHORN
28-Apr-24
I used a pop-up blind and set it up near a waterhole and I arrowed a 6x6 bull (349 5/8) at 40 yards. I did put some branches or cover stuff on the sides and top to conceal it.

From: txhunter58
30-Apr-24
Almost 5 yrs ago. What happened on the hunt?

From: Wirehair
30-Apr-24

Wirehair's embedded Photo
This works really good.
Wirehair's embedded Photo
This works really good.

From: Zim
01-May-24

Zim's embedded Photo
Zim's embedded Photo
Just use a Ghost Blind. I’ll be in mine for turkey tomorrow morning. You are invisible and can move daily wherever you want, without brushing in. I prefer using LW climbers to sit trees for elk, for scent purposes. But would not hesitate to sit my GB in some situations. My IN toms last two years actually came too close, within ten yards before my shots at 23.

From: Wild Bill
10-May-24
I'm a 68 year old big game hunter who has learned a thing or two while hunting public land. One of the most important lessons, learned the hard way, is to avoid OTC public land hunts. They are a three-ring circus and a cluster f*** all in one. There are too many hunters treading all over each other trying to hunt the same animal. If at all possible, private land and controlled draw hunts are the ways to go. For those with limited mobility, popup grounds blinds in the right place at the right time work best.

From: Rock
10-May-24
I have set up blinds in the wide open and covered them with sage brush and they did not bother the animals at all. Had Elk within 10 yards of me from this blind.

From: Rock
10-May-24

Rock's embedded Photo
Rock's embedded Photo
Rock's embedded Photo
Rock's embedded Photo
I have set up blinds in the wide open and covered them with sage brush and they did not bother the animals at all. Had Elk within 10 yards of me from this blind.

From: Who Cares
10-May-24
Did you shoot that bull, Rock???!!!

From: Groundhunter
10-May-24
Elk are not whitetails. In public no way does a decent deer tolerate a pop up, unless it's TV Land.

I have shot 2 cows now out of a one day pop up, no way that's working in Iowa.

I prefer a natural blind.

From: Rock
11-May-24
Who Cares, No I did not shoot the Bull, I was hunting Deer and did kill a nice one.

Groundhunter, I would disagree with you about Whitetail Deer tolerating Blinds as I have used them a fair bit and have never had an issue even in Iowa.

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